Not everyone wants to pay a thousand dollars for a phone. These days, you have plenty of options, and it’s easy to find the best unlocked phones under $300 in 2021 . Sometimes, a mid-range phone is just more than enough to accommodate all your needs. If you only use your phone for calling, social media, and light gaming, buying a flagship phone can be such a waste of money. A casual user like you clearly doesn’t need the most expensive smartphone. Plus, mid-range phones nowadays have improved so much. They’re more capable than ever!
In fact, many mid-range phones now are packed with all the sophisticated features that are comparable to flagships. Smartphone manufacturers understand that the mid-range market is booming. There’s a lot of demand in this category. Popular smartphone brands like Samsung, Motorola, Nokia, LG, and Xiaomi incorporate high-end features to their mid-range phones. Things like edge-to-edge screen, face unlock, multiple cameras aren’t just flagship things now.
There used to be a considerable gap between mid-range phones and flagships. 5 to 10 years ago, it was hard to find a great smartphone at this price range. There’s a lot to sacrifice when you’re budget is tight. But now, buying the best cheap unlocked phones could be a better option. There isn’t really much to compromise anymore at this price range. Most of the time, mid-range phones offer you the best price to value.
If you’re looking for even cheaper options, take a look at our list of the best unlocked cell phones under $50. These are our most recommended options but don’t expect anything grand or sophisticated. Most of them are designed only for basic functions, such as phone calls and texts. If this is not your cup of tea, keep reading to find the best ones for under $300!
Features You Need to Look on the Best Unlocked Phones Under $300
With so many options on the market today, you won’t find a hard time finding the best unlocked phones under $300. This used to be a difficult thing a few years ago since mid-range phones aren’t as competitive as today. But now that everything is improved, it’s easy to find a high-performance phone without the hefty price tag. As a matter of fact, you can get some unlocked cell phones with no credit check and no deposit! But before you pick a phone, there are a few essential things to consider getting the phone that best suits your needs.
The phone’s hardware build quality
Build quality is crucial when it comes to cell phones. With excellent build quality, the phone is more durable. Therefore, it will last for a long time. You don’t have to keep buying a new phone every once in a while. The most common materials are metal, glass, and plastic. Aesthetically glass is better. However, glass is much more fragile. If the phone’s looks don’t really matter for you, a metal or plastic phone is better in terms of durability.
The overall performance
Make sure you check the processor and the memory to ensure the highest performance. Suppose you’re just a casual user and mostly use your phone for social media. In that case, you don’t need the most powerful processor. But if you love playing games, you should consider buying a phone with a better processor and more memory.
The phone’s battery life – both on idle mode and in use
What’s the point of having a phone with the best performance if the battery sucks, right? Nobody likes it when we have to charge the phone many times in a day. If you’re a heavy user and use your phone a lot, we recommend getting a phone with at least 35000mAh of battery capacity. It ensures your phone will last for at least a full day. Even if you’re not a heavy user, having a phone that lasts for up to two days is still a nice thing to have.
The display size and quality
The display resolution and the user interface are also the key factors when choosing a phone. Since you’re going to stare at your screen a lot, make sure it’s high quality. You can expect to get a Full HD display to Full HD+ at this price range, which is very great and vibrant. And in addition to that, make sure you pick a smartphone with the most simple user interface. That way, it’s easier for you to navigate the menu.
Here is the most popular unlocked phone under 300 Dollars in 2021
1. Blackview BV9100: A rugged phone with outstanding battery life.
If durability is your number one priority in a smartphone, you should consider getting the Blackview BV9100. And not only it’s ultra-durable, but the craziest thing about this phone is its battery capacity. The Blackview BV9100 is packed with a 13.000mAh battery. It’s not only a huge capacity, but it’s literally a monster! With this massive battery, you will be fine even if you don’t have access to electricity for 5 days straight. It’s a beast for those who love to play games all day. It’s so annoying if you have to constantly be near a charging spot. With this phone, just leave the charging brick at home.
Other brands are racing to make the thinnest and the lightest phone. Light and slim phones may look good aesthetically, but the durability is questionable. The Blackview BV9100 may not be the thinnest phone. In fact, it’s one of the thickest phones available on the market today. The body is very well-constructed and sturdy. Plus, it comes with an IP68 water-resistant rating. With excellent durability and remarkable battery life, it’s the perfect phone for an adventurous soul. This phone easily beats all the competitors when it comes to durability and screen on time.
- Comes with a powerful 13000mAh battery
- Made of IP68 Rating materials
- Good-quality aluminum alloy body
- 30W charger is included in every purchase
- The body is quite thick and heavy compared to other phones with the same model
2. Nokia 5.3: A perfect balance between display, camera, and performance.
Go big and go beyond with Nokia 5.3. It comes with a 6.55-inch HD+ display with incredible color accuracy. The screen is very vibrant, and everything looks so real. If you love watching videos or movies, this one’s for you! Also, say goodbye to the low battery. The combination of enormous battery capacity and the power-efficient Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 665 make this phone last for two days. Also, with the latest Android 10, it delivers a seamless performance close to stock Android. Everything is simple and easy to navigate without all the unnecessary bloatware.
The incredible quad-camera allows you to capture stunning pictures wherever and whenever you are. With a bigger sensor and AI, take amazing photos even in low light. This phone helps you get the best shot and create professional-looking portraits. The 13MP primary lens provides you with the most significant detail. And to get everything in the frame, the 5MP ultra-wide camera can capture it all. What we really love about the Nokia phone is its software update. When you buy a Nokia phone, you’re guaranteed to get at least 2 years of software updates and up to 3 years of security updates. This is why the Nokia 5.3 is one of the best unlocked phones under $300.
- Equipped with Qualcomm Snapdragon 665
- Comes in a wide 6.55-inch HD+ display
- Quad-camera system for the best image results
- Free of bloatware
- Fast charging brick isn’t included. You need to purchase it separately
3. OnePlus Nord N100: An outstanding phone with a great price to value ratio.
Being the least expensive on the list doesn’t make OnePlus Nord N100 the most inferior compared to its competitors in the same category. We even think that this is one of the best cheap unlocked phones that genuinely offer the bang for your bucks. What do you get from this affordable phone? First thing first, the OnePlus phone never disappoints. This brand is very reputable. Everybody knows about the quality. Secondly, OnePlus is known for producing high-quality phones with premium flagship-like features without the hefty price tag. Now you know why the OnePlus Nord N100 gives the most value for the price.
The OnePlus Nord N100 is a stylish phone packed with the most sophisticated features like a 90Hz screen, ultra-fast charging, and triple camera system. Defeat battery anxiety with a massive 500mAh battery that keeps you powered all day long. Also, immerse yourself into your favorite shows, movies, and games with OnePlus Nord N100’s giant 6.52-inch high refresh rate screen. You got a massive screen for massive entertainment! Also, don’t forget about the triple camera system. With a primary camera, macro lens, and a dedicated portrait camera, it’s easy to take pictures at any moment.
- Equipped with Dual Stereo Speakers
- Comes with a 5000mAh battery
- Has an ultra-fast charging mode
- The screen resolution is low
4. LG Stylo 6: Beautifully designed with an impressive display.
There’s nothing better than an immersive edge-to-edge FHD+ FullVision display. LG is the king when it comes to screen quality. The LG Stylo 6 offers the best entertainment and a vivid visual experience with clear picture quality. This is a mid-range phone with a flagship-like look and features. The LG Stylo 6 comes with a massive 6.8-inch IPS screen that feels premium despite its modest price tag. In addition to the excellent screen, it also features a built-in stylus pen. Channel your artistic soul by expressing your true self and drawing your art. On top of that, this phone comes with the MediaTek Helio P35 processor that never fails to impress everybody.
You may find many phones that look better on paper than the LG Stylo 6. But it’s got the satisfaction and aesthetic that you won’t find in other brands. This phone looks fantastic but also has an outstanding performance. It’s a great device that enhances your life. Whether you’re enjoying or creating content, the LG Stylo 6 gives you an unlimited potential to express yourself. With a built-in stylus pen and three spectacular cameras, nothing can stop your creativity.
- Comes with a super wide 6.8″ FHD+ FullVision Display
- Equipped with a built-In Stylus Pen
- Thin bezels, make it both more stylish and functional
- The low-light performance is subpar
5. Xiaomi Redmi Note 9S: Big screen with reliable performance.
Flagship capability, but budget-friendly? The Xiaomi Redmi Note 9S is the perfect answer for that. This is the latest release from Xiaomi, and it’s packed with all-new features. At this price, you really get much more than what you pay for. Compatible with TAG Mobile, Xiaomi Redmi Note 9S offers the most reliable experience with unmatched battery life. Consistent performance, vivid display, and a fantastic camera are some of the highlights of this phone. We think this is one of the best unlocked phones under $300. With a giant display, high performance, and reliable battery, it’s just perfect.
Many phones under $300 have boring designs. They all look similar, and nothing stands out. However, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9S is different. It stands out from the crowd with its shiny, unibody glass design. We really love the premium finish because it looks elegant on the phone. And the best thing about this phone is its camera. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 9S features a 48MP ultra-high-resolution primary camera that captures the most detail. There are also 3 other cameras, ultra-wide, macro, and depth camera for the best shot in low light conditions.
- Equipped with a high-performance octa-core processor
- Comes with a vibrant screen
- Equipped with a 48MP ultra-high-resolution primary camera
- Has a Cinematic 4K video feature
- The charging process is pretty slow
6. Nokia 7.2: Simple but artistic design.
Who says that Nokia is dead? Sure it was absent for a few years. However, this legendary brand comes back stronger than ever. In fact, they have been on the market again for a few years now. The brand has its credibility back. One of the latest releases from Nokia is the Nokia 7.2. This new phone is competent in all aspects. The Nokia 7.2 has a premium design and solid performance. The predecessor, Nokia 7.1, was a huge success in many countries. And with Nokia 7.2, Nokia tries to set a new standard of a premium mid-range phone.
What we really love about the Nokia 7.2 is its classic Nordic design. It’s a perfect combination of simplicity and artistry. The phone looks minimalist but still catchy. The design is a result of sharp attention to detail. What makes the Nokia 7.2 so interesting is actually its display. This phone comes with “Pure Display” technology. Basically, it means the display is HDR-capable. A sophisticated feature like this usually is found only in flagships. The HDR panel converts standard dynamic range to high dynamic range, resulting in super vibrant and punchy colors.
- Equipped with 48 MP ZEISS Optics
- Comes in a wide 6.3” Full HD+ with PureDisplay
- Features a Clean Android experience
- The sound quality is mediocre
7. Moto G Stylus: Proper price to performance ratio
The Moto G Stylus has received tons of positive reviews since its release. It makes sense why it’s one of the best cheap unlocked phones. This is a very excellent mid-range phone with a huge and vibrant screen, as well as long as battery life and built-in stylus pen. You don’t have to spend a thousand dollars to have a smartphone with a stylus these days. A flagship like the Galaxy Note isn’t the only phone that comes with an intelligent stylus anymore. Even though the Moto G Stylus doesn’t come with the most powerful processor, you’d be surprised that it’s actually pretty comparable to the Galaxy Note 10. And the best thing is, it’s only a third of the price.
This phone features a fantastic 6.4-inch LCD with minimal bezel. The display has a 19:9 aspect ratio and 2.300 x 1.080 of screen resolution. What we really love about the screen is that it’s very bright and crisps. There’ll be no problem when you use it under the sun. It has great visibility even outdoors. And on the back of the phone, you’ll see a triple camera system with 48MP of the primary sensor.
- Equipped with a built-in stylus
- Has a long battery life
- Comes with high-quality stereo speakers
- Lacks an IP rating
8. Samsung Galaxy A51: A flagship-class smartphone without the premium price tag.
There are many reasons why the Samsung Galaxy A51 is truly the most excellent among all the best unlocked phones under $300 on the list. This phone is a beast! At a mid-range price, you get a flagship-class smartphone. We’re blown away by the Galaxy A51’s performance. The specification isn’t only good on paper, but it indeed translates to real-world use. If you’re looking for a powerful smartphone, but your budget is tight, we highly recommend this one. The best thing about the Samsung Galaxy A51 is its screen. It features a beautiful 6.5-inch Super AMOLED display that beats all the competition. It’s just incomparable!
Did you know that the Samsung Galaxy A51 was the highest-selling smartphone in the world in 2020? It topped the chart with 11.4 million sales globally. It’s super impressive! It makes sense knowing that the Samsung Galaxy A51 is packed with flagship features but sold at a relatively affordable price point. And the magic doesn’t stop there. This phone comes with a superb quad-camera system that allows you to take decent photos with excellent dynamic range. Also, the low-light performance is as good.
- Comes with a super AMOLED screen
- Equipped with a quad-camera system
- Equipped with a power-efficient processor
- Has a clean UI
- The fingerprint scanner is relatively slow
FAQ (Frequently Asked Question)
To help you decide which phone you should pick, here are some frequently asked questions we found online. Keep these in mind before clicking the “Add to Cart” button!
Do phones under $300 have long-lasting batteries?
Yes! You can expect to get a smartphone with a huge battery capacity at this price. Phones around $200 to $300 usually come with about 3000mAh to 5000mAh of battery capacity. The battery life is comparable to flagships. So, you don’t have to worry about how long the phone will last. It’s enough to accommodate your communication needs for a whole day.
What is the best phone for under $300?
There are plenty of options for the best unlocked phones under $300. Now, it’s easier than ever to pick a mid-range phone that’s perfect for you. The most popular brands like Samsung, Nokia, Motorola, LG, Xiaomi, and Huawei all have their own mid-range lines. The mid-range market is now highly competitive. You’ll get the best specs at the best price.
Is there any disadvantage to buying an unlocked phone?
With an unlocked phone, you actually have more freedom. You get to choose your favorite provider. In addition to that, you can also switch providers whenever you want without any restriction. But there’s a downside to buying an unlocked phone. However, it’s just a minor disadvantage. If you’re buying an unlocked phone, you usually don’t get a special discount as you would on a bundling package.
The only reason why you should reconsider buying unlocked phones is the fact that many providers offer tons of benefits if you buy phones locked to their services. In fact, some of them even promise free cell phones with no deposit and no credit check if you sign a contract for a certain period. And what’s the catch? You cannot use that phone with other providers unless you terminate the contract. Keep in mind that terminating the contract before the given period may result in penalties. That said, there are ways to “unlock” those phones unofficially, even though it’s not recommended.
Where is the best place to buy unlocked cell phones?
There are many online stores to buy unlocked cell phones. Each store usually offers its own special packages and discounts for the customers. Some of the best places to buy a phone are Amazon, Best Buy, Newegg, and Swappa. However, we highly recommend Amazon since it works with many official vendors. Click on the products’ links above to go to the product’s page on Amazon directly.
How to choose the best unlocked phone?
The best unlocked phones are the ones that support the most networks. If you want to use one for the Verizon network, ask yourself this question: “Can I buy an unlocked phone and use it with Verizon?” If you buy an unlocked phone, you want the freedom to choose your own provider. That’s why it’s crucial to pick a phone that supports the most cellular networks. Some of the biggest providers in the USA are T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, Vodafone, and Sprint. Please scroll up to our Features section above if you’re still unsure how to choose the best one.
Just like any product, purchasing one of the best, or some of the best unlocked phones under $300 has its pros and cons. The pros are clear, you get to choose whichever model you want and pair it with a provider that best suits your needs and preferences. The cons are you’ll be missing out on the best offer from providers. That said, it’s not a deal-breaker. You’re still able to pick the best provider and select the best offer that doesn’t come with a contract. That way, you get the best of both worlds.
Some say the quality of unlocked phones is subpar. This cannot be more wrong as both locked and unlocked phones are produced by the same manufacturer. The only difference is that they are built with a certain setting, one can only work with a particular provider and the other one may work with any.
What you should keep in mind is the fact that some sellers offer unlocked phones that were once locked and they have them unlocked in certain ways. If it is done through the official provider, there should be no issue. But sometimes, you may find some unlocked phones that aren’t supposed to be unlocked. That is what you should avoid.
With all these considerations in mind, you’re only one click away from getting your best cheap unlocked phone.
Make sure your choice ticks all the boxes before you click on the “Add to Cart” button. Once you’re all set, you’ll have a great phone to accompany you in many memories to come!